Sunday, 24 May 2015

Sewing machine practice

I know I've been quiet again, but I needed to step away from the dolly stuff, so I spent about 3 days faffing around on the computer - and ploughing through the Inspector Rutledge books by Charles Todd.  I love those.

...Unfortunately, the computer part of the equation made the RSI in my shoulder play up, so I picked up the sewing again.

The fabric I'm using at present, is a lovely striped cotton, but it's a nightmare to get a needle through. So having punctured myself a few times, I got out my poor sewing machine once more.

I say poor, because it's been sitting under what started off as a pile of 'mending', which soon became just a pile of clothes.  It's not a horrendously expensive machine, but it does make a very expensive storage shelf!

A lot of people are surprised when I say I'm useless at sewing with a machine.  I mean I can use one okay, but when I see how amazing some doll clothing designers are with a machine I just want to hang my head in  shame.  I find tiny darts and curved neck & sleeve shapings are virtually impossible to cope with when sewing on a machine. 

So I usually stick to hand sewing, unless my fingers are raw and bleeding, or unless I've mad a particular frock so many times, I just want to get the next one sewn quickly.

Here's my machine.   I didn't want to go for a really fancy one that did things I would never use it for, so I picked a good brand name and went for a middle-range computerised one.  It's gorgeous. It sews beautifully, and the only barrier to using it is my own ineptitude.

The current pattern I'm working on is the "Posh Frock", originally for Patience, but this one is for Pedigree Sindy.   I sewed the bodice by hand, but thus far, I've managed to dew the skirt and ruffles, the petticoat AND the armlets on the machine.    I've distributed the gathers and basted them into place by hand, the petticoat waistband is hand-finished, as are the armlets, but I'm so pleased with the almost-finished ensemble!

Only a couple of disasters took place, neither one to do with the machine, but I was able to keep at it and I'm feeling quite proud of myself.

Here's the near-finished outfit.  I need to add the shoulder ruffle, but that should be easy enough on the machine.

It's perhaps not quite as enjoyable for me as hand sewing, because I really do enjoy doing that, but it saved me loads of time, and there are no blood spots, because it also saved my poor fingers.

Yes. I'm aware I've droned on a bit, but what's a blog for if not to keep some sort of record?  I'll continue to try and use the machine more often. ... but at the end of the day,  Hand sewing is sort of what I'm known for, and I won't be giving it up any time soon.


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